Art/ Collection/ Art Object

清 金農 墨梅圖 軸
Blossoming Prunus

Jin Nong (Chinese, 1687–1773)
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
dated 1759
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Image: 49 3/8 x 17 in. (125.4 x 43.2 cm) Overall with mounting: 85 1/2 x 21 in. (217.2 x 53.3 cm) Overall with knobs: 85 1/2 x 23 3/4 in. (217.2 x 60.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988
Accession Number:
Not on view
A poet, collector, and bibliophile, Jin Nong did not take up painting until the age of fifty. Known as one of the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou, Jin specialized in painting plum blossoms. He developed a distinctive style of calligraphy through the study of the squat clerical-script form of ancient stele writing.

Blossoming Prunus was painted for a high official only five years before Jin's death at age seventy-two. In his inscription, Jin speaks of the good fortune of the plum painters Yang Buzhi (1097–1169) and Ding Yetang (active mid-13th century), whose works gained imperial recognition. Jin then adds, jestingly:

"Now I, too, have done a likeness of latticed branches and scattered shadows. How might it also enter the Nine Enclosures [of the Forbidden City] and be submitted to imperial view?"
Signature: Inscribed, signed, dated 1759, one artist's seal

Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (6 columns in standard script):


Artist’s seal

Jin Nong yinxin 金農印信 (square, relief)

Other inscription on the painting

Zhu Xiudu 朱休度 (1732–1812), 12 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1804; 1 seal:

比部集有索金壽門畫梅絕句云:“占斷西湖世外春,只教一鹤伴閒身。人間無筆能圖取,還乞林逋自寫真。”乃乾隆戊寅[1758]作,踰季山人畫以報,即此幅也。越辛巳[1761]比部没再閱。辛丑[1781]比部嗣君秋勝要余與曹種梅、蔣春雨飲,出此同觀。別有山人為比部畫梅花燈八扇,時值上元張燈相品玩,余為賦燈詞七首,有“冬心舊筆生春色,疑是相思一夜開”之句,且勸秋勝擷燈幅裝為冊。今三人皆下世。聞燈畫冊子已為杭人購去,廉兒忽從他處獲此,惘惘然對畫如對故人,而余齒且及山人作畫之年矣。余往見山人寫梅多亂插繁花,此老筆較疏澹可貴,兒能珍之,紙上花不隨人謝也。嘉慶甲子金陀里七十三翁朱休度書。 [印]: 梓盧

Collectors’ seals

Ma Jizuo 馬積祚 (20th c.)

Gu Luofu 顧洛阜 (John M. Crawford, Jr., 1913–1988)

Related Objects

Plum Blossoms

Artist: Jin Nong (Chinese, 1687–1773) Date: dated 1757 Medium: Album of twelve leaves; ink on paper Accession: 1986.495a–l On view in:Not on view

Grooms and Foreign Horses

Artist: Jin Nong (Chinese, 1687–1773) Date: 17th–18th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 1997.438.1 On view in:Not on view

Ink Play

Artist: Jin Nong (Chinese, 1687–1773) Date: dated 1754 Medium: Album of twelve paintings; ink and color on paper Accession: 1997.439a–m On view in:Not on view

Poems on Paintings, Written for Ma Yueguan

Artist: Jin Nong (Chinese, 1687–1773) Date: dated 1754 Medium: Album of eleven double leaves; ink on paper Accession: 1989.363.196 On view in:Not on view